What is Newgrange?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Newgrange is a very famous Irish passage tomb.  It is a prehistoric monument which dates back to about 3200 BC.  It is located in County Meath, Ireland.  This tomb is about 80 meters in diameter.  It is surrounded at its base by earth and many stones.  The most famous stone is the Entrance Stone.  Some of the stones are the finest examples of European Neolithic art.  On December 21, the Winter Solstice, and a few days on either side of that day, the roof box is opened to let in some rays of sunlight.  The Neolithic culture of this area believed the new year began on the Winter Solstice.  It was a sign of nature's rebirth and the triumph of life over death.  The last stage of building at Newgrange was a series of stones constructed around 2000 BC.  Newgrange is a popular tourist site today.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Newgrange is a very famous monument in Ireland. It was built in prehistoric times, and is located near the River Boyne in County Meath. I was blessed to visit this area myself in the year 2000, and I can tell you it is a very mysterious and beautiful structure. In essence, it is a mysterious grass dome surrounded by a white wall.

Because it was built during the Neolithic time period, that makes it older than the Egyptian pyramids as well as the monument of Stonehenge in England. The mystery continues because no one seems to know what this monument was used for. Most suspect that it had some kind of religious, Celtic significance. What is important is that it is aligned with the Rising Sun, and light floods within when the Sun rises on the winter solstice. It is considered the most important monument of the Neolithic time period.

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jcross373 | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Located in Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland, Newgrange is a Stone Age monument. The monument was constructed during the Neolithic period over 5,000 years ago. This monument is older than the Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange can be described as a large circular mound that contains chambers and a stone passageway inside. The famous monument was constructed by a farming community in Boyne Valley. Newgrange is described by archaeologists as a tomb that has a passageway. However, it is now seen as an ancient temple, with spiritual and religious importance. The mound is shaped like a big kidney and covers about an acre of land. Based upon the time and energy it took to construct Newgrange, it is suggested that the farming community was extremely organized and contained specialized groups for the different areas of construction. 

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